Caribbean Cruise Line Complaint

A FREE Cruise Turns Into $899.00 and Port Charges - 2 Day Cruise and Hotel Vouchers for FUTURE

- California - Ft. Lauderdale, FL & Port Bahamas For Day
Received a Free Cruise Voucher for Caribbean Cruise Line and listened to entire pitch about the cruise and stay in Ft. Lauderdale Florida, Nassau Bahamas and stay in Orlando Florida and Las Vegas NV for the future. After saying how great that would be I was told it would all be $899.00 plus $99.00 a piece for port taxes per person I asked what happened to the FREE cruise and was told that the cruise was but the hotels and such were not. Since my husband has a kidney disease that is eventually fatal I fell for the whole thing wanting to take him on a short trip away from home but realized after spending the money on our limited income that it was a ripoff and and the $1300 voucher amount was designated to be spent exactly where they wanted it to be spent. Supposedly there is no way to get out of it, but we really can't afford this on fixed income and I feel for the usual pushy sales push wanting to do something great for my sick husband. Shame on these people!! Lynda Vaughan in Sacramento

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Reader Comments:

Posted by riridez on 12/16/2009
true true true and they are rude and disrespectable if you decide you don't want the offer at this time. NEVER SAIL THE CARIBBEAN!!!!

Posted by aduszkie on 01/23/2010
Hi,

I went through a lot of grief with this company, and I want everyone who is fighting for a refund know that THERE IS HOPE! I'm spreading the word as far as I can. I got a full refund, it officially showed up on my credit card today.

Florida law says they must refund you, no questions asked, withing 30 days of purchase. I did all this within that 30-day window. I've read about many people who have gotten refunds after that, even after going on the miserable vacation, so it is still possible, but I'm sure it's more difficult. My advice is, don't put it off. Better yet, STAY AWAY from Caribbean Cruise Lines (or whatever name they're going by at the time. They change names a lot. The main name is Ramada Plaza Resorts)
.

MY ADVICE

If you feel helpless and think you can't get a refund, please read this. Here is the thing, folks. These people are trained to prevent cancellations. After everything I went through with them, I clearly saw a pattern. When you are referred to a "specialist", that is just a person who is TRAINED to convince you to not cancel. This is the process I noticed:

1. They "remind" you of the amaaaaazing vacation package you have purchased before you ever say anything. They congratulate you on it, then ask why you are calling and how they can help you (the "specialist" knows damn straight why you are calling. You were transferred to them because you are cancelling)

2. They try to reason with you. They act shocked that you want to cancel. Then they ask you for reasons. They try to make you feel like cancelling such a fabulous trip is ridiculous.

DO NOT REASON WITH THEM. I learned this by the third time I called. Don't feed the fire. Everything they ask you, just say, "I just decided it was not for me, and I want to CANCEL MY PACKAGE"

3. If you're still not budging, they will tell you something about a noncancellation policy, or they will say that the cancellation period for your state has passed. Too bad, no refund for you. DON'T FALL FOR IT!

4. If you still are persistent, they will just give you any and every reason why a refund is not possible.

STAND FIRM. It's very possible. EVERYTHING the specialist says is to try to discourage you and make you feel like you don't know what you're talking about, and a refund is not possible.

I was discouraged and gave up the first few times I called them because I wasn't informed. I figured a refund just isn't possible. They want you to believe that. The final time I called, I figured out there was a pattern to all of it. I saw that they put you through this wringer to make you feel that way.

Here is how I suggest you talk to them:

Specialist: "Wow! You have such a great vacation. Congratulations! It's so amazing it includes _______, __________ and ________! Now, how may I help you?"

Customer: "I want to CANCEL MY PACKAGE."

Specialist: "Cancel?! Why would you want to do that?"

Customer: "I just decided it was not for me, and I want to CANCEL MY PACKAGE"

Specialist: "But there has to be a reason! People don't just call and say they want to cancel a vacation!"

Customer: "No, it's really just not for me. I want to CANCEL MY PACKAGE"

Specialist: "So, a relaxing vacation to the Bahamas is not for you? Relaxation and fun is not for you?"

CUstomer: "Correct. I want to CANCEL MY PACKAGE"

Specialist: "But it sounds like there is something you're not telling me! Why would anyone just suddenly decide it's not for them?"

Customer: "It's just not. I want to CANCEL MY PACKAGE."

You get the idea. They push you to the limit. Don't reason with them. Be firm. Be persistent. Be polite. You will get your money back.
.

MY EXPERIENCE:

(For the record, I am a journalist and I consider myself to be a very level-headed, cautious person. After buying this, I sat back in awe of how fast I was pushed into this without doing much research. I'm wiser for it, but I will never again judge anyone who buys into these types of scams.)

I registered for the "free" cruise and purchased an extended-stay package after being promised a ' 'Spectacular Extended Stay' ' vacation.
The names "Ramada" and "Carmen Electra" falsely led me to believe this was a quality vacation. I later learned my accommodations include two sub-standard hotels and my "award-winning" cruise ship is an old ferry boat.
The Internet is full of dissatisfied customers, governmental warnings and litigation.

Upon booking, one of the many people I talked to said refunds were indeed possible. That was part of the reason why I agreed to buy it. I figured I had nothing to lose. After buying I got on the internet and it took me a whole 3 seconds to see what a scam the whole thing was.

I contacted the company just hours after purchasing to cancel my trip and request a refund. The person I spoke with, "Robert," said he can't cancel my trip because the company has a non-cancellation policy and said no one would've told me otherwise (pretty much called me a liar). I was never made aware of such a policy. If it exists, it violates Florida's Sellers of Travel Act, which says it's illegal for any seller of travel to "fail or refuse to honor a purchaser's vacation certificate request to cancel if such request is made within 30 DAYS from the date of purchase or receipt of the vacation certificate, whichever occurs later."

I called the company again the next day and spoke with "Frank". I again asked to cancel. He said his company had a non-cancellation policy. When I cited Florida law, he said it doesn't apply because his company only has to follow whatever refund law my state (Ohio) has.

I was feeling a little discouraged at that point. I contacted several lawyers, who all said the company is in Florida and is BOUND BY FLORIDA LAW. PERIOD.

Last week, I decided to give them one last chance to give me a refund before I disputed the charge with my credit card company and filed complaints with the BBB, Floirda Attorney General, etc.

I spoke with "Angela", a "specialist" from customer service. She repeatedly asked why I want to cancel.
She told me about a 3-day policy in Ohio for refunds, saying I passed the period. I was not eligible for a refund anymore. I said I called THE VERY DAY I bought the package as well as the next day and was told cancelling was not possible. I was not told about the 3 day rule.

She said that's because thats because I called the wrong number. I was only supposed to call one specific "customer service" number. Since I called a different number, it doesn't matter what was said. I was SOL.

I was pleasant and polite at first, but as time went on we began arguing. Her patience was tried I guess when I repeatedly told her her company MUST abide by state law and give me a refund. She kept saying no, that's not the case. Finally she copped a defensive attitude and said "I know the law, ma'am. I don't need you to cite the law to me, ma'am. We are a large corporation, I know the law. DO NOT RECITE THE LAW TO ME, MA'AM."

With that, she said, "In fact, I am transferring you to a supervisor."

I felt completely helpless at that point, because it all seemed to be going in circles.

After a long hold, I was transferred to a supervisor. She didn't say hi or anything, she seemed to be reading off a script. She asked me to verify my name and address, told me I would get a full refund of $698 within 7-10 business days and gave me a cancellation number.

I thought it was way too easy. I was still skeptical. But I waited. Well, it has been exactly 7 days, and I have received a FULL REFUND.

So, please don't give up and let them make you feel like an idiot.

Sorry this is so long. But I know this type of info on the Internet helped me when I needed it, and I hope this helps at least one person! GOOD LUCK!


Posted by myish123 on 01/27/2010
Thank you so much for posting this aduskie... i too got pulled into the scam today and afterwords i was skeptical and looked into it more and found this site. i also consider myself very carful. I did the same thing and tried to get a refund a few hours later today. i followed your instructions on being firm and sure enough, they gave me the refund... i sure hope this cancelation number is true, i can't trust anyone anymore from there. they told me it will be on my account again in about 5 business days. if it weren't for you, i'd be pretty lost. Thanks again!

Posted by neumultisport on 02/25/2010
Hello, I do not know for sure if this was a ripoff, but I know I do not like this company and will never give them money again. They kept telling me how the state law of my state says I only have a time frame of a period less than what I had and then wanted to get out the recordings. Thank you for the story about how to get the money back. I was actually hung up on the first time I called to try to get my money back. Then I called twice more until someone helped me. She seemed like a nice enough lady, but she gave me the run around like everyone else and tried to convince me that her company was GOD and because they are GOD can do whatever they want and tell people whatever they want. Stand up for yourself and be firm. If you want your money back, you will get it, just do not take no for an answer, and call their bull crap that they try to tell you. Thanks for the helpful article. I hope to spread the word on this one.

Posted by fcabooks on 03/24/2010
It's an obvious scam. Why do people fall for stuff like this? No one give away something for nothing. Duh.

Posted by spalches on 04/01/2010
I just got one in the mail myself, and immediately did research on the company. i dont sign up for things via e-mail because i get tired of all the SPAM and what not, but i am not sure how they got my address. i was wondering by me getting this in the mail and not making any phone calls or doing anything with the "confirmation" number do i still have to call and cancel?

Posted by alex.zaikin on 04/09/2010
Thank you for your story! I've got these free checks tonight. I was one step from calling them. Now I will just show these SCAM to my co-workers and we will lough about this. One more time thank you to share you story with people!

Posted by spennix2 on 04/16/2010
My brother was a victim. On April 1st, he thought he was getting a free cruise for him and his wife, turns out, he was the fool on this day because his credit card was charged 495 dollars. He called the next day 4/2 and tried to cancel the trip. The customer service rep told him that he absolutely could not cancel under no terms and he had to take the trip or sell it to someone else. He told me, his big sis, about the situation, I immediately called them and they tried telling me the same bull. I explained to them that the FTC said that for the state of Virginia there was a 3 day cancellation policy. Their whole story changed. They then tried to accommodate me and even tried to lower the price. I was not budging, my brother did not want this cruise and I was determined to get his money back. After about an hour of them trying to convince me that I shouldn't cancel, they finally put a supervisor on the phone who again tried to get me to take this cruise. After explaining again to her that I didn't not want it, she gave me a cancellation number and said that the money would show on my credit card 7-10 business days. After about 8 days,of nothing showing up, I called back only for them to tell me, it had not been properly submitted. So the lady submitted it for me again, and said it would show up in 3-5 business days, on the 3rd day of seeing nothing on my credit card, I called again this time, another lady said it had been submitted as of the 13th of April and it should show up on the card in 7-10 business days. If it hasn't shown up by the 22nd of this month which will be 7 days exact, I will call again. It seems that they are very hesistant to refund the money. I will call every week if I have to until the money is there. This site was helpful to me to know that I have to basically be a nuisance until my request is granted. I will keep you posted. Thanks again.

Posted by jmbroo4 on 04/17/2010
I really want to thank you!! I was feeling so lost. I did just what you recommened and got it over with real quick. I have my cacelation number and will wait and see. Thanks so much.

Posted by brittnie.chism on 06/28/2010
They are stating that I need to gove them the reservation cost b/c I'm not a Florida resident. Is this true? I asked for a full refund and they are telling me NO. PLEASE HELP! I have asked with in the 30 day period

Posted by adman on 09/30/2010
when going to listen to the scam hta you did not know about always standf up and sit in the front and say that you are recording the entire session on tape and they will give you just what the paperwork says. they have escorted me out of the room but i was saying all the way out its a scam beware and follow my advice. i said i would be outside to show them later, but they had called 911 to have me escorted out of the building. i dont knock anyone from making money the right way and not scamming. remember the good ole words " If it sounds to good to be true thats right your getting suckered in. good luck and be cawreful to all.

Posted by jr3ptstud on 10/08/2010
aduszkie or anyone else...

Any tips on how to cancel after 30 days? The run-arounds they put me through took over 30 days!

I paid the whole amount, called to cancel and they told me I could pay half now and half later. They refunded half of the fee to my card and gave me until December 2010 to use the vouchers. Does CL collect on the other half themselves, use a collection agent, or not at all?


Posted by chronos on 11/12/2010
Watch for the phone version of this as well. They've been calling for days and leaving messages. Tonight they finally got me live. The rep said I won a cruise from doing an internet survey. I don't do internet surveys. I smelled a rat and said I wasn't interested. She kept going with comments like, "Why wouldn't you be interested in a free cruise?" Now that I've done the research I'm glad I said NO and hung up.

Posted by lah3dns25 on 02/25/2011
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Its ridiculous that ads for this company are being pushed on the radio. But I did exactly what you said and it worked like a charm. You saved me a lot of time and money and I truly appreciate it.

Posted by Kassity97 on 05/06/2011
I recently accepted the trip and did a payment plan where I put down $ 149 and then make payments of $75.00 a month after I accepted I did some research and tried to cancel the very next day they informed me that they would cancel all of the payments but the $149 was not refundable because I agreed to that charge any advice...............

Posted by jwarr170 on 06/27/2011
Thank you so much aduszkie! I followed your instructions and the result occurred exactly as you predicted. I felt like I had complete control over the entire organization at that point. They tried to talk me out of it on numerous occasions. They accused me of getting "faulty information from the internet" and being unreasonable. After talking with the supervisor there, I'm not surprised why they have such a high turnover rate in telephone specialists. You'd think that if you operated your business on truth and honor then you would probably not need a calling center with "specialists" who try to do everything as close to lying (if not actually doing it) to get you to let them keep your money. Sounds like a shaddy business to me. Did you know they got an F rating on the BBB?

Posted by mstreets92 on 11/25/2013
plz help!! I did everything you said to do and at the end he said I would get the full refund but didn't give me a cancellation number. is he just trying to kill time and get past the 3 day period?

Posted by charlenefandango on 03/11/2014
I just cancelled. Followed this advice. Thank you for all of your feedback.


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